Within the space of three centuries leading up to the great Persian invasion of 480 BC, Greece was transformed from a simple peasant society into a sophisticated civilization that dominated the shores of the Mediterranean from Spain to Syria and from the Crimea to Egypt—a culture whose achievements in the fields of art, science, philosophy, and politics were to establish the canons of the the Western world.
Oswyn Murray places this remarkable development in the context of Mediterranean civilization. He shows how contact with the East catalyzed the transformation of art and religion, analyzes the invention of the alphabet and the conceptual changes it brought, describes the expansions of Greece in trade and colonization, and investigates the relationship between military technology and political progress in the overthrow of aristocratic governments.
This book cannot fail to be challenging, and not only to the general reader… [The era covered in this study] was perhaps the most important in Greek history and indeed one of the most significant in all history. Murray…has done it full justice.
Oswyn Murray’s Early Greece is a volume which has the dual purpose of providing an up-to-date account of major periods and of presenting the methodology employed by scholars of each particular age. Murray has fulfilled both tasks admirably… [He] sets the story of Greece in a broad perspective geographically and intellectually.
Together these five compact volumes [Early Greece by Oswyn Murray, Democracy and Classical Greece by J. K. Davies, The Hellenistic World by F. W. Walbank, The Roman Republic by Michael Crawford, and The Roman Empire by Colin Wells, in addition to the newly published The Later Roman Empire by Averil Cameron] cover much of the history of the classical world, and do so with both ease and authority… For this new series they have been revised or otherwise brought up to date.
- 368 pages
- 0-15/16 x 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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